Science & Wisdom of Emotions Summit

Mind & Life Institute and The Awake Network Foundation.

From 2 to 5 May took place virtually the event:  Science & Wisdom of Emotions Summit which was co-produced by the Mind & Life Institute and The Awake Network Foundation.

Through the Science & Wisdom of Emotions Summit, many of the visionary scientists from the original dialogue, along with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, were gathering with a new generation of inspired voices to offer the latest scientific insights shared best practices for cultivating emotional well-being and emotional intelligence, and explored the the role that emotional wisdom can play in addressing the many challenges our world now faces and the profound crisis of disconnection that underlies so many of them.

The event lasted 4 days, the program managed a different topic per day, day 1: Understanding Your Emotional Landscape, some of these topics addressed, were: Understanding Our Emotions and Our Potential for Goodness, Cultivating Genuine Happiness and Mental Balance, Art, Emotions, and Social Transformation.

Day 2: Being Intelligent About Emotions, some of the themes were: Practicing Compassion: The Strength of a "Trembling Heart", The Science of Happiness, Transforming Your Relationship to Stress.

Day 3: Cultivating Emotional Well-Being, topics discussed:  Emptiness and Compassion as Antidotes to Destructive Emotions, The 4 Pillars of Well-Being.

Day 4: Practices for Working with Emotions in Everyday Life, the themes were: Shifting the Paradigm: Creating Cultures of Relationality, Cultivating Wholesome Emotions, Reflecting on the Original "Destructive Emotions.

The guests were world famous speakers as Daniel Goleman, Alan Wallace, Paul Ekman, Richard Davidson and His Holiness the Dalai Lama who was the guest of honor and  he participated in several talks during the summit.

The learning of this summit is infinite and generous because it was completely free, but I would like to remark some of the ideas that I consider most relevant for the reader's reflection:

  • Emotions become destructive when they skew our perception or disturb our inner equilibrium. For Paul Ekman So there's no emotion we have to get rid of because it's destructive. What we have to examine is how we behave when it's brought to mind, what our motives and intentions are when we feel one or another emotion.
  • Dr. B. Alan Wallace: “if we are able to make wise choices rooted in just that, wisdom, but also compassion for ourselves and others, able to make choices that are conducive to our own and others' genuine wellbeing, then I would call that free will”.
  • Mingyur Rinpoche: “So, to have well-being, the real inner well-being, we need to connect with our true nature. So how to connect with our true nature is similar to what Cortland mentioned, awareness, connection, purpose, sorry, wisdom. So, in our language, what we call the first is awareness, the same thing. Second is love and compassion, and the third is the wisdom”.
  • Dr. Laurie Santos: “One of the things we teach a lot is the power of using a social connection in our social relationships to bump up happiness. You know, one of my favorite studies by Ed Diener and Marty Seligman suggests that social connection is a necessary condition for high happiness. Most studies show that people who are more social are happier. There's also, lots of studies show that simply through the act of bumping up your social connection, you can improve your wellbeing”.
  • Dr. Paul Ekman: “the key that opens the door to a constructive engagement with others, which is what we must have as our goal, is awareness. To be aware of how we're feeling, to be aware of our attitudes, of our thoughts, of our expectations, that's what we must cultivate. It's not an antidote, it's a way of living”.

For more information about the summit: